Is your financial analyst resume effective enough to highlight your skills and successes? Will it even be seen by a human so it can convince a hiring manager to call you for an interview?

If you want that financial analyst job, you should make the effort to create a resume that sells your best features without wasting any time getting there.

Although there is no consensus on the perfect format, the following questions will coach you through the challenge of creating a financial analyst resume that's just the right length to catch a potential employer’s eye and get you to the interview. (Cue “Eye of the Tiger,” and continue reading.)

1. Is your resume longer than one page?

While two-page resumes have become more acceptable in recent years, many executives still prefer a one-page format. Multiple-page financial analyst resumes should be limited to those with extensive — and highly relevant — work experience. Have less experience? Don’t make the mistake of trying to fill two complete pages. Hiring managers can spot unnecessary content and won’t be impressed by wasted words.

2. Did you choose the best format?

If your resume is longer than one page and you need to shorten it, start by taking a look at your format. There are various formatting options, but many executives prefer reverse chronology to a functional format. One of the best resume writing tips is to make sure prospective employers can see a clear track record of your accomplishments.

Also on the topic of format, be sure to save your resume as a PDF. That will preserve your layout so it can be viewed, printed and electronically transmitted without getting scrambled.

3. Have you highlighted achievements?

When itemizing your employment history, it can be easy to fall into the trap of listing your job duties and financial analyst skills instead of what you've accomplished in each position. Rather than searching the thesaurus for new ways to say “responsible for” or “managed,” make a concrete list of goals you met, improvements you made and complex tasks you executed. Doing so will give hiring managers a strong impression of how well you handle job demands.

4. Is all of the information relevant?

It cannot be said too many times: Your resume is NOT your Facebook profile. The fact that you play paintball or paint watercolors has no place in a financial analyst resume. Scan your resume quickly the same way an employer would — in less than a minute. Then trim any extraneous information or redundant language. Keep your message concise and on topic.

5. Did you get carried away with design?

Unnecessary visual elements limit your usable space. Desktop publishing software makes it all too easy to play with layout and design, and the use of non-traditional resumes is on the rise. But don’t lose sight of your goal — to effectively showcase who you are and what you have to offer. You don’t need to demonstrate to potential employers your skill at graphic design if you’re searching for a position as a financial analyst. Save space by emphasizing your expertise and competence rather than your dexterity distracting resume fonts.

Ask these questions as you update your financial analyst resume, and the result will be a svelte document that’s ready to take on the other contenders’ resumes and win the job.

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